Although Xi’an offers a lot of options for shopping, it cannot be measured with the largest cities in China, but it certainly offers great prices. Xi’an can be attractive for doing your shopping at markets and shopping streets, and products that are typical for this city are usually souvenirs, antiques and craftworks like Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses figures, Tang Tricolor pottery, and hand-made paper-cut.
What to buy in Xi’an
The small figures Terracotta Warriors are definitely something that most visitors buy, and they can serve as great presents for your friends and family, being the main attraction of the city. Pocket size warriors can stay as a great memory, as well as horse figures, which can be bought in almost every souvenir shop. Tang Tricolor pottery, dating from the period of the Tang dynasty is also quite typical for this area, since Xi’an was the capital during its rule. The figures of different dimensions and shapes are usually colored in blue, yellow and green. You may find the figures of imperial maids, animals, and products that are used in everyday life, such as bottles, plates or kettles. Another very popular traditional art in China, especially in Xi’an is paper-cutting. It basically represents different shapes and patterns cut on paper by scissors or engraving knife, usually being red, since the color symbolizes happiness and wellbeing.
If you are interested in buying hand-crafts, souvenirs, fake goods and electrical equipment, the best place to visit is the Muslim Quarter. Traditional streets and shops that are quite interesting are Shu Yuan Men Cultural Street, Xi’an Antique Market. Along the Shu Yuan Men Cultural Street (书院 门; Shu Yuan Men, 700 meters south of Bell Tower; 9: 00-21: 00) you may find more than 200 shops that sell different things, from souvenirs, jewelry, to traditional musical instruments, calligraphy, paintings and many other handmade items. Xi’an Antique Market (古玩城; Gǔwàn Chéng; near the Small Wild Goose Pagoda (小雁塔)) is the biggest of its kind in the city, and it contains basically everything that can be interesting to collectors, from big pieces of furniture, to small and rare coins. You may also exchange antiques if you are a collector, and meet a lot of people who share similar interests. This street is best to visit when visiting Small Wild Goose Pagoda, since they are near one another. Those interested in local painting should visit the Peasant Painting Gallery (户县 农民 画 长廊; Hu Xian Nongmin Hua Chang Lang; 17, Huoju Road, Huxian). It is around 42 kilometers southwest from Xi’an, and it is full of vivid paintings made by peasants who live there and use the art to present their everyday life and situations. It was made by the group of farmers who started painting in the 1950s and gained international fame since then.
East Street offers a lot of shops and shopping malls with high quality goods. Kaiyuan Shopping Mall (开元商城; Kāiyuán Shāngchéng; 6 Jiefang Market, East Street; www.kysc.cn; 9:00-21:00) is one of the biggest malls, and definitely one of the most popular among the locals and tourists. With two basement and seven above ground floors, this mall will provide you with basic goods, such as food and drinks, to some electronic equipment, clothes, jewelry, and many more things. The ones who are interested in luxury international brands should visit Century Ginwa Shopping Mall (世纪金花购物中心; Shìjì Jīn Huā Gòuwù Zhòng Xīn; 1 West Street, Bell and Drum Square; www.centuryginwa.com.cn; 9:30-21:00). This mall can be considered as a fashion center of Xi’an, since it houses brands such as Burberry, Lancôme, Dior and Givenchy, so if you like spending money, this is the right place. No. 1 department store in Xi’an is Minsheng Department Store (民生百货; Mínshēng bǎihuò; 103 Jiefang Road; www.cnminsheng.com; 10:00-21:30), the oldest department store in Xi’an, with many branches throughout the city. Here you may find a lot of things, including food, clothes, and other goods.